Your car’s brakes are your most important safety feature. It’s important to care for and maintain your brakes in order to ensure the safety of your vehicle and those inside it. How you actually do this can leave some drivers confused. Here’s everything you need to know about brake care.
How to Care For & Maintain Your Brakes
How Do Car Brakes Work?
While pushing the brake pedal slows down your car, it doesn’t do it by slowing down your wheels, contrary to what you might think. Automobile brake technology has a long history of innovation that leads to today’s brake system. This system contains fluid filled, hydraulic brake lines that become pressurized when you apply force to the brake pedal. This pressure causes the padded drums inside your wheels to expand and slow down the wheel.
This simplified definition of how brakes work shows the two key components that you must maintain as a car owner: the brake fluid and the brake pads.
What Happens During a Brake Inspection?
While the brake fluid and brake pads are something to monitor as the vehicle's caretaker, there are smaller parts that need to be inspected by a trained eye to ensure your safety.
In a typical brake service, a Metro Motor Service Technician checks:
- Wheel cylinders
- Brake drums
- Fluid condition
- Parking brake cables
- Master cylinder fluid condition
- Wheel bearings and grease seals
Out of all the systems in your car, brakes are not one we recommend handling if you're an ametuer or aspiring mechanic. To keep your car running smooth and safe, bring it to a professional mechanic.
How Often Should I Get My Brakes Checked?
Brake pad replacement falls about 50,000 miles or 4 years into your total car maintenance schedule. However, you may need to get your brakes check earlier or more frequently if:
- The brake light on the dashboard keeps flashing
- It takes longer for the brakes to respond
- There’s a grinding feeling when you brake
- The vehicle pulls to one side when you apply the brakes
Your brakes are your car’s most crucial safety system. So, it’s vitally important to perform preventative maintenance on them regularly. Get them checked by a Metro Motor Service Technician at least every 50,000 miles or so, and take it easy when bringing your vehicle to a stop in your everyday driving life.
Vehicle care information made available by Metro Motor is presented as helpful advice for general maintenance and should not be construed as instructions for at-home vehicle service. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual and a licensed, professional mechanic for diagnostics and repair.